What do you believe? In the six areas of life, what you believe is the foundation for all the other areas. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be religious, the area of belief includes your personal attitudes, philosophical views, political views, and more. Your beliefs shape how you think and act, and they shape your attitude and how you see the world around you.
Now we all have different beliefs and views, but it is important to listen to others. Even if you don’t agree with everything they believe, you can still learn from them.
Presuppositions are basic foundational assumptions which affect how we see the world. How do you answer the big questions? Is there a God? What does it mean to be human? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How do we determine what is right and wrong? How you answer these questions will certainly impact how you think.
These presuppositions affect our behavior too. If I subscribed to the philosophy of hedonism, I would live my life for the sole purpose of seeking pleasure. If I believed in the JudeoChristian God I might be more careful to follow the commands in the Bible. If I were convinced of a religion, I would be devoutly practicing that religion. If I were unsure, I might not practice that religion wholeheartedly.
As we listen to different ideas from different people, we can follow the words of Carl Sagan.
"If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones." - Carl Sagan.
As a friend of mine used to say: “Be neither gullible nor skeptical, but critical: analyzing and carefully judging each idea. Only accept the ideas that are true.”
So it is important to examine what you believe. It is important to believe the truth and live by it. Remember, whatever you believe, there is never any point in believing a lie. I am writing this blog from the perspective of a Christian. Once again, you may not agree with everything I say and believe, but you can still read this blog and learn something from it. I was raised Christian, but there was a time when I had to decide for myself whether or not I believed Christianity is the truth. In a future post I may talk about critiquing one’s beliefs. In the next post I want to talk about what it means to be a Christian.